It seems it’s getting harder to know people nowadays. People may overshare on social media but may be hesitant to open up to people who are sitting in front of them. Add to that the skewed expectations we have due to online dating culture and you’ve got a recipe for a lot of games, a lot of awkward first dates, and not a lot of connection. I think it’s time we make dating fun again; these are some fun date ideas that I think not only make it less painful but hopefully make it easier to get to know the person you’re with.
After all, how can you decide to see someone again without getting a sense of who they are? Trusting your gut instincts is, of course, important, but I think trying different dating scenarios can also help people open up and give you a sneak peek into their true personalities.
Check out these fun date ideas and see if you can suggest them, or plan for them, the next time you go out!
Food and Drink
Go somewhere where the cuisine is a bit different. This gives you a chance to figure out culinary preferences and helps you see if someone is willing to challenge their comfort zone…and how far they’re willing to go.
Examples of this
- Hibachi grill restaurants
- Farm to table spots with rare seasonal finds
- Seafood joints that serve literally every marine animal you can think of.
Any specialty, niche restaurant is also a great choice for trying and bonding over a unique experience.
On the same note, I suggest also trying out cocktail bars, speakeasies, breweries, whiskey tastings, etc. Some speakeasies and bars allow you to order “bartender’s choice” wherein you just tell them the flavor you like and they’ll throw together something based on that only! Again, another great way to push your own boundaries and see how the other person handles these unique opportunities.
Planning an activity is another great way to get to the know the person you’re with. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this on a first date, then I think it’s a great option on a second, third or any thereafter. Doing things together teaches you a lot about the other person, and in turn they learn a lot about you.
Some potential date activites to do together:
Hike or Bike – An easy way to get outside, a hike, or a bike ride together allows you to get physical and explore a trail or new area.
Beach Day – the great thing about the beach is that you don’t just have to lay out and sit on the sand. There’s swimming, boogie boarding, surfing, jet skiing, and a whole plethora of other water sports you can potentially choose from. There’s also beach volleyball or simply throwing a frisbie. You can also build sandcastles or just take a walk. There’s no shortage of options, and nothing is too out there.
Miniature Golfing – some may find this boring, but I think playing games, even something as simple as miniature golf, is a great way to see how competitive the other person is. Along the same lines, visiting a driving range, or playing top golf if your town/city has it.
Ax Throwing – this appears to be all the rage nowadays. A bit like throwing a really heavy dart (I’d assume, I’ve never done this). But looks fun, and again another way to incorporate a little friendly competition. Plus you can see how someone else handles a weapon.
Road Trip – a day trip to a nearby town to explore is a great option for traveling together and seeing how the other person is on the road. Plus there’s all that time to talk and ask questions. You’ll also get a sense of whether or not the driver has road rage and may learn a little bit about how they handle difficulties, e.g. getting lost, getting stuck in traffic, taking a wrong turn.
The Zoo – Anything involving animals, I think, is a valid way to see if your date is willing to go back to the child in him. We all need a little innocence and playfulness. Memories from visiting the zoo as a kid can come up and you may learn things about his/her past that wouldn’t come up otherwise!
Museums – whether its history, art or science, museums offer a lot of information about our past, potential futures and sometimes just have cool stuff. You may find some shared interests from spending time in museums.
Plan a Trip Together – this would be for later dates, not in the beginning, but setting time aside to plan a trip together is a great date night option. Bust out some wine and your laptops and have a night in planning and brainstorming ideas! Some people are not planners and prefer to just wing it. This is one way to figure out your partner’s travel personality before you even go anywhere.
Picnics – this takes you outside, and if you’re me, you’ll reveal to your date how much of a mosquito magnet you are. This is important information as it can have implications on how long you’re willing to stay outside, how prepared you need to be with mosquito repellant and whether or not to pack antihistamines.
Cooking a Meal Together – working on a new recipe together in the kitchen, I think, can be a lot of fun, a challenge, and also very enlightening. Some people hate cooking and prefer doing dishes. Some are the complete opposite. Some like to clean up as they go, others leave the clean up till the end. How crazy you drive each other will definitely come to the surface.
Take a Class – cooking, painting, brewing beer, yoga, dance, an exercise class together…whatever you choose to do, make it hands-on and interactive. Along with spending quality time together, you’ll potentially learn a new skill!
Play Video Games – whether its the classic Super Mario Brothers, or some modern game that I’m completely unfamiliar with, video games are a great rainy day activity (or if it’s too hot to be outside), fosters competition, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll reminisce and maybe even take away some life lessons from it all. Add in some booze and I think you’ll have a fun and entertaining evening.
Go Shopping – this is probably another activity once you’re a few dates in. But a guy who can be patient with you while you peruse your 12 millionth shoe? Winning.
See Comedy Show – What better way to learn each other’s sense of humor?
Skating Rinks – if it’s summertime you can go roller skating and in the winter you can go ice skating. See how agile your partner is!
Fun Date Ideas For Group Dates
Group dates are also a fun date idea and can help you meet each other friends. Getting a sense of who someone chooses to be close with, and their bond can give you some insight into how that person handles their other relationships.
Some fun date ideas for groups, or double date ideas include,
Camping/Glamping – I find sleeping in a tent to be a bit more fun when you’re in a group. There are many more stories to be had, random things you can do, and you can split up depending on interests making it easier for people to do things that are fun for them.
Bowling – Girls vs guys? Your friends vs his/her friends? Bring on the competition and really ugly shoes.
Game Night – Trivia night at a bar, or board game night at home, either is a great option for spending time with each other and your friends.
Bonfire Night – Some beaches here in southern California have spots where you can build a fire. I’ve done it before with a friend. You have to buy your own fire wood, but you can build your own bonfire and hang out at the beach! Great night time activity. Add food and a bottle of wine and voila, excellent ambiance, and time spent (especially if you’re watching the sunset).
I’d even say you can do this in your backyard. S’mores anyone?
Concerts – Live music and dancing. Two activities that can’t be beat, in my honest opinion.
Escape Rooms – Test each other’s critical thinking skills, ability to work as a team, and get some laughs while you’re at it.
Ball Games – I find ball games to be a fun date idea with a group versus just two people. It’s easier to get hyped up, you can have a buddy to go to the bathroom with or get food if you need it.
Laser Tag – the one time I got to play laser tag, I died right away. Terrible. However, in a group setting this could be a lot of fun, and then you can grab food or drinks after and talk about what happened!
Amusement Parks – we’re never too old to get on some rides and play some games.
Unique Date Ideas
These are some random things I’ve come up with based on what I’ve heard or seen, or even wanted to do myself.
Hot Air Balloon Ride – this option isn’t everywhere, but I think could make for a really unique date night. Hopefully, your partner isn’t afraid of heights, because I think the views would be amazing.
Go Horseback Riding – again, not an option that’s readily available, but if you’re adventurous enough, this could be one of those fun date ideas that you tell stories about afterward.
Go Apple Picking – this depends on the seasons and where you live, but apple picking, berry picking, or visiting a pumpkin patch are also good ways to spend time together.
There Are Tons Of Fun Date Ideas To Choose From
This list is based on my own experiences, on what my friends have done and things that I know are “in style” to do. However, there’s no limit to coming up with creative date ideas so that you can spend time with another person and get to know who they are. Depending on where you live, there may be local activities you’ve been wanting to try. Go for it!
Dinner and drinks, going to the movies, etc. are still classic ways to spend time together; however, if you’re looking to mix things up, to get to know someone a little more quickly, or even have someone with you while you explore different activities in your area, then these fun date ideas will hopefully get you the inspiration you need to plan your next date night.
As annoying as dating can be, I think that making dating fun again can help you stay positive about the whole process. Plus, you owe it to yourself to find someone that you really get along with and click with. Trying new activities together is a sure-fire way to really open up someone’s personality.
No matter what, remember that everything happens for a reason. So, take a chance on some fun, plan something a little different, and be on your way to finding your person.
Images courtesy of unsplash.com
Sanjana is a physician anesthesiologist, avid traveler, and entrepreneur. She founded The Female Professional in order to give women a voice and a platform to express themselves. With her experiences as a physician, as a CEO of a startup, and as a writer, she understands the struggles and frustrations that women face. She also understands what it takes to move past those things and come out on top. Through this platform, Sanjana aims to empower women to be their best, authentic, selves, achieve work/life balance, and live life to the fullest.